If the looks on the faces of Dartmouth Moosehead Dry’s players didn’t say it all, star slugger Darren Doucette said it for them.
“Some day, we’ll realize we did something special here and went on a pretty good run,” the player-coach said as he walked off Beazley Field last night. “But let’s be honest: Silver sucks.”
Nothing less than gold ever satisfies the Nova Scotia powerhouse, which was seeking its fourth Canadian senior baseball championship, but fell short on home field with a 1-0 loss to the Burnaby (B.C.) Bulldogs before a crowd of several thousand.
It was a pitchers’ duel, with tournament MVP Steve McCrea of the Bulldogs taking down one Dartmouth batter at a time en route to a complete-game three-hitter.
On the other side, Dartmouth’s Merek Deska also allowed just three hits and delivered 10 strikeouts en route to winning Dartmouth’s player-of-the-game honour.
But it was Burnaby’s Kevin Atkinson who broke the goose-egg and the hearts of the Dry in the fourth inning, belting a home run over the left-field fence.
“It was a tight ball game and I felt like anybody could win it,” said Atkinson, named Burnaby’s player of the game. “He threw me a good pitch and I just found the barrel and got it out of the park.”
Dartmouth was nearly perfect all week, going 5-0 leading up to the gold-medal game and outscoring opponents 30-3.
“It came down to one pitch,” said Dartmouth third-baseman Joel Irvine, a 14-time provincial all-star.
“We played our hearts out and that’s a great team over there …. Merek threw well, it was just a fastball he got up over the plate and a middle-of-the-order guy put a good swing on it and that’s the ball game right there.”